Smoky Aubergine Curry

This Indian-inspired, smoky aubergine curry makes for a very delicious meat-free dinner. Charring aubergines like this not only cooks them incredibly quickly, it also gives them a wonderful smokiness that adds huge depth of flavour to the finished dish. If you don’t have a gas burner, don’t worry. You can pop the aubergines under a very hot grill in the oven. As long as they’re blackened on the outside and collapsing in the middle, you’re golden.

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 4 aubergines
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 20 fresh curry leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 400g tinned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Place the aubergines directly over a gas burner set to high. Cook, turning frequently, until completely blackened and collapsing, around 10 minutes. If you don’t have a gas stove, pierce the aubergines all over with a small knife and rub with vegetable oil. Roast at 220°C / 200°C fan for 45 minutes, or until completely softened, turning once halfway through.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the burnt skins. Pull the aubergine flesh with two forks and set aside.
  3. Heat a generous glug of vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook until they start to pop, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the onion and curry leaves, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion has softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli and cook for 1 minute, then add the tinned tomatoes, ground cumin, coriander, mild chilli powder and ground turmeric. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate from the sauce.
  6. Add the pulled aubergine flesh and vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the yoghurt and fresh coriander, then cover and remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then serve with rice, naan or both!

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Annabel Hand
1 year ago

This is one of the top 10 recipes i’ve cooked this year. Absolutely amazing. cant wait to add it to our weekly rotation!!

1 year ago

Deliciously moreish – couldn’t stop thinking about it. Am making it again today. Big hit with the hubby too.

Teyler wallace
1 year ago

Made this last night. It was good, very fresh in flavor but wasn’t as rich in flavor as I would have liked. The recipe asks that you cover the dish to simmer on low for 20min after adding the eggplant and stock. I think that’s a mistake. Doing so really waters down the dish. I would recommend that you just allow the dish to reduce uncovered for 10-15 minutes. This will result in a much more flavorful outcome.

1 year ago

Absolutely delicious recipe. . My husband (a big meat eater!) went for a second serving of this the night I made it and the next day, heated the leftovers immediately.

Fiona Moate
1 year ago

Really good aubergine recipe. I omitted the vegetable stock and it was very rich.